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How can you be certain your PPE is protecting you from risks? Here's our advice!

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How to make sure you’re getting the most out of your work uniform, and tips on washing & protecting it.

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Simple tips to help you, as an employer, prevent slips, trips & falls in your workplace.

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Some of the most common workplace injuries affect employees across a range of industries, and there are ways to prevent them.

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Personal protective equipment, or PPE for short, proves fundamental to the health and safety of employees in an array of industries. Whether you work in catering, forestry or construction, steps must be taken to ensure that uniform protects from any job hazards. Suitable PPE could be resistant gloves to avoid the burn of harsh chemicals as a gardener, or it may be safety goggles to protect your eyes from splinters as a woodworker. 

You may find yourself asking, ‘what personal protective equipment do I need?’, and this will differ depending on your job role. Though an employer must provide all necessary PPE, it is down to employees to ensure that equipment is worn consistently and adequately! Here is a useful guide to personal protective equipment and the items you need for your industry.


PPE for Construction

Construction work poses a unique set of risks. Whether you’re operating heavy machinery or you’re carrying bulky materials, carefully considered workwear is crucial to upholding health and safety standards on site. You can’t enter a building under development without a hard hat, or you’re risking a serious head injury! A luminous vest isn’t an uncommon article, as they guarantee that employees are visible even in dark conditions while work is undergoing.

A less obvious item of protective equipment for construction work is ear plugs. Building sites are lively and can be very noisy when multiple pieces of machinery are being operated simultaneously. Ear plugs protect the hearing of all employees while being relatively cheap to purchase! Slightly bulkier over-ear protection may be required when an employee is personally operating noisy machinery, but in-ear is the standard for general workers.


PPE for Healthcare

Personal protective equipment fills a slightly different need in a healthcare setting. Rather than protecting employees from hazards such as falling material, healthcare PPE needs to protect from viruses and sickness. Hospitals and medical practices routinely buy disposable gloves and seat covers to limit bacteria’s spread and protect visitors and professionals’ health. In intensive care units, where there are extremely vulnerable patients, disposable shoe covers may also be necessary.

Standard pieces of PPE for healthcare professionals are reusable face shields, or visors. Face shields still allow for effective vision since they’re transparent, but they limit the air projection that doctors breathe in their patients’ direction. Face coverings are vital in restricting the spread of harmful bacteria, and face shields can be worn in combination with a typical disposable mask. A visor as PPE may also be seen in dentistry due to close contact between patient and practitioner!


PPE for Gardening

Though perhaps not as physically demanding as construction work, gardening and forestry roles can be dangerous if you aren’t properly dressed! Thorns and nettles pose a threat to exposed skin, while pesticides can burn unprotected hands. Gardeners can also require the operation of dangerous machinery, such as chainsaws or cherry pickers, so employees may need steel toe capped boots to protect their feet. Uniforms need to be unrestrictive while covering any skin near harsh chemicals.

Chainmail gardening gloves suit best when the knives are out, or employees need to wade through a bush of thorns, but chemical protection gloves are the most important of all. Any fungicide or pesticide has a serious potential to be harmful to health, even if only over a long period of time. Disposable gloves aren’t thick enough to withstand harsh chemicals, so investing in a reliable pair of chemical protection gloves assures that a gardening team can perform their tasks without fear of illness.


If you have any further questions regarding what items of personal protective equipment will best suit your industry, feel free to contact us at Cobra Workwear.